Beto O’Rourke Apologizes To Campaign Staff For Being ‘Giant Asshole’
Robert “Beto” O’Rourke lost to Sen. Ted Cruz last November by 2.6% — 214,921 votes to be exact.
So, HBO, of course, decided to put out a documentary on the loser, which hit the airwaves on Tuesday. In “Running With Beto,” the 2020 presidential candidate is seen apologizing to his campaign staff for being a “giant asshole.”
In the scene, O’Rourke joins a group of campaign staffers and thanks them for their work in the 2018 midterm election.
“I just feel very, very lucky, and I love you guys more than you’ll ever know,” O’Rourke says. “I know I was a giant asshole to be around sometimes, and you all never allowed my shortcomings to get in the way of running the best campaign this state has ever seen.”
While some viewed O’Rourke’s showing in Texas as miraculous, the state has been turning more blue every year. Like Virginia, which was purple for a decade or two, Texas could well flip to the Democrats, who are making a big push to secure the state.
“In the doc, Beto comes off as charismatic yet controlling—its most revealing moments being ones where he is seen dressing down his clearly overworked staff for their perceived lack of preparedness,” The Daily Beast reported.
The person on the receiving end of most of the scoldings is Cynthia Cano, his road manager. At several tense points in the film, Cano is criticized by Beto—in front of her campaign colleagues—for not leaving enough time in his schedule for media interviews, having him be late to campaign events, and not adequately prepping him for those events. (Cano views Beto’s penchant for going long in his speeches and wanting to speak with every single constituent and/or person with a microphone as the reason for his constant tardiness and lack of prep time, which appears to be the more likely culprit.)
O’Rourke’s campaign has been flagging almost since the moment he entered the 2020 race. Earlier this month, he said, “I recognize that I can do a better job, also, of talking to a national audience.”
Just days ago, the New Yorker put out a piece headline, “Can Beto Bounce Back?”
His campaign raised more than six million dollars on the first day, a record. His early rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire were raucous and packed.
Since that initial rush, however, O’Rourke has steadily sunk into the morass of a race with nearly two dozen candidates. His standing in the polls has tumbled to sixth place. A media consensus seems to have formed that he is a handsome lightweight, an entitled child of privilege who has “failed up” all his life. While O’Rourke has been assailed for a variety of flaws—gaffes, inexperience, tactical errors—Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has displaced him as the fresh young face. O’Rourke, unfazed, carries on with his upbeat, heavily scheduled, literally hard-driving run. By mid-May, according to his staff, he had driven more than six thousand miles, through fourteen states, held more than a hundred and fifty town-hall meetings, visited thirty-two college campuses, and answered more than a thousand questions.
The latest polls, though, put him in single digits. The Real Clear Politics’ (RCP) poll average stacks up like this: Biden 38.3%; Sanders 18.8%; Sen. Elizabeth Warren 8.5%; Sen. Kamala Harris 7.3%; Mayor Pete Buttigieg 7.0%; former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke 3.8%; and Sen. Cory Booker 2.5%. The rest of the also-rans are polling at less than 2%.
In the latest Quinnipiac poll, the numbers were worse: Biden 35%, Sanders 16%, Warren 13%, Harris 8%, Buttigieg 5%, Booker, 3%, and O’Rourke 2%.